Archive for June, 2017


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

The other night I started watching a show called Anne with an E

It is based on the Anne of Green Gables book series about a young orphan who is mistakenly sent to bachelor and his spinster sister.

Anne with an E

Anne With an E

I have never read this series but seeing the newest adaptation was fascinating and intriguing. I could see how Anne would get on the bad side of just about anyone.

I read one review that did not like the darkness of the new series or some of the liberties it takes with the source material.

And I understand that review, I really do. Except, I found myself loving the show and wanting to watch more. I felt some of the touches on the story were perhaps more realistic about the bleakness of Anne’s true reality. It also made me wonder how Anne could be so cheerful or hopeful feeling considering she should have been more bitter feeling about her life so far.

What I really felt was excitement that I could watch this show, thanks to our Netflix subscription. And I do love Netflix. But I also get frustrated that I cannot watch certain shows because Netflix drops them or removes movies from the streaming list.

Mocking Jay part 1Case in point, I finally saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Having read all of the books and watched most of the movies, I realized I was ready for that last movie, Mockingjay Part 2. I had avoided it not because I thought it was bad but because I know the ending. I know who lives and who doesn’t which makes me sad.

I thought for sure that Netflix would have it in their streaming collection and that there would be no problem in watching that movie at the moment I wanted to watch it.

The answer turned out differently. It was not available for viewing and I was lucky to have seen Part 1 on the cable station I saw it on. And to think that Mocking jay Part 2 only came out less than two years ago. I could rant about the unfairness of picky streaming services. But I’m not.

Thankfully, I have a library card. Thanks to that library card I have ordered a physical copy of the movie I wanted to see. Yes, it is possible for any of us to buy an out-of-district card. But what if we didn’t have to do that. What if we had a library here in St. Anne?

library card plastic2It could be a place with computer access for those kids who have chrome books from school but no internet access at home. Twenty-five percent of all Americans do not have internet service at home. A library could be a place where books, movies, and other tools for learning could be at a librarian’s or patron’s fingertips. A library could be a place for people to work on resumes or learn something new or read a classic novel such as Anne of Green Gables.

To have a library, a publicly funded library, would cost money. But you would pay for that after the first six hardbacks, or ten movies, or 50 prints from your email. People know where I work and some sigh with the desire of having a library of our own. I think about how great of a thing that could be as well.

Libraries aren’t just about books or movies. They are about the wonder of discovery and the beauty of the world that is all around us. I think Anne Shirley would agree with me that libraries are about hope. And hope can take you to many different places.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Oh, Drew

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

A chance conversation about Drew Barrymore lead my daughter to state she had never seen the movie Ever After featuring Barrymore in the lead role of Cinderella. We were at Dollar General looking in the movie bin to see a picture of Barrymore looking down in a loving but subservient manner.

Ever AfterIt was surprising to me as this is one of my favorite Drew Barrymore movies. According to some sources this is Drew’s favorite movies of her own work as well.

Ever After is a version of the Cinderella story set in France. Her father has died, leaving the little girl under the care of her new step-mother, Angelica Huston, and two step-sisters. What is most interesting is the assumption that Danielle married royalty and is the ancestor of Madame Royalle who tells the story of the little cinder girl.

History buffs will recognize Madame Royalle, portrayed in the movie as the older woman played by Jeanne Moreau who tells the tale of her ancestor, as the last living child of Marie-Antoinette.

Everafter Drew IMDb com

Drew Barrymore in “Everafter,” image from IMDb.com.

The movie is a delight with Barrymore and Angelica Huston, both Hollywood royalty, emotionally battling each other. Dougray Scott is wonderful as the Prince who feels trapped by his role in the royal family. Leonardo Da Vinci shows up to be the Artist in Residence. But there are fun scenes and romantic scenes and plenty of action.

Once we started watching, suddenly my daughter said that she did remember the movie. But I do not remember her suddenly saying we could stop watching. We watched to the bitter end.

We did for another movie I found called My Date with Drew in which a young man decides to spend 30 days trying to get a date with Drew Barrymore, his childhood idol/crush.

Brian Herzlinger is struggling to survive in Hollywood after six years. An appearance on a game show nets him $1100 and an idea for a documentary. He will spend the next 30 days in an attempt to get a date with Drew. Using a video camera that must be returned to Circuit City in 30 days, Brian taps into every connection he can think of.

My date with drewHe and his friends meets with directors, screenwriters, personal assistants, actors, and a skin specialist to find a connection to Drew. He works through her company contacts and sets up a website to publicize his quest while deciding if he needs a real job in order to survive.

This movie was the festival darling of 2004 once it was discovered. People tended to love it or hate it. While I appreciated Brian’s efforts, I found myself in the ‘hate it’ crowd. I felt like I was watching a bad video and never felt that Brian had enough gusto to complete his task. I watched it to watch it. But it is not something I would recommend or even watch again.

I feel bad saying that until I realize this move was made 13 years ago. He has moved on since then and so has Drew.

Perhaps I can just rev up Ever After one more time.

Right or Wrong?

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

US flag bearers ladyheart

Image by Ladyheart

Memorial Day makes us think of the service members who have fought for the rights and freedom we all enjoy in this country.

We enjoy various ceremonies that names the dead from various wars, we watch wreaths being set at tombs of unknown soldiers that represents all who are lost in various conflicts.

Maybe you have traveled to Washington D. C. and visited the Vietnam Wall or the Korean war memorial. Both, to me, are the most emotional and expressive artworks depicting the costs of war. The Wall is haunting with its seemingly unending panels listing the names of the people who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

But the Korean War memorial is unreal with its slightly larger the life figures walking in a group among plantings that make it almost appear as if the men are walking through a fog. It is eerie and unsettling. It makes me feel sad for these young men as they travel where they don’t know and with no knowledge of what to expect when they get there.

So I was surprised this week when my son picked up Snowden, the Oliver Stone movie about the young NSA worker who exposed secrets of the spy community that both endangered assets in the field and informed Americans that they were all under surveillance through social media and email and anything we might have done through electronic media.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an eerie performance as the young man who felt his government was doing something wrong and it had to be stopped. Snowden weighs what to do while continuing to do the work he has been hired to perform. We go from his time in the service when an injury left him unable to be in special services to the time when he has decided to let go of the information and eventually travels to Russia.

SnowdenTo be honest, I listened to the movie while doing other work in the next room. To me, his conversations sounded as if he was a person dealing with paranoia until we find out that maybe it wasn’t. I find it strange how some people’s paranoid thoughts came true with this scandal. We fear overstep with the government and we fear not doing enough to stop it.

Now you may want to debate if Snowden was right or wrong in his actions. Some of the material he released exposed intelligence information that did put people in danger. However, Snowden also allowed the American people to know that they need to be need to be more careful. How they use social media, what is said in emails. Everything that we do online or on our computers can be hacked, can be looked into by our government at anytime. We found out that various world leaders were being surveilled without notice.

I find that this movie brings up discussion. You can’t help but wonder if you would do the same thing that Snowden has done or would you do it differently? Is the cost of doing what you think is the right thing worth it?

After watching parts of this movie and watching the commentary, I still don’t know what is the right answer.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.